Friday, February 18, 2011

An Encounter

This past Saturday, I was able to attend an all day women's conference held at a local church. I had heard the speaker at our church's moms group a few years back, so I knew it was going to be an awesome experience. I told Rob the night before that I was just desperate to hear the Lord speak to me. I knew that I would walk away with pages full of insightful bits of wisdom and encouragement to my heart and soul as a woman, but I needed to hear from Him... specifically to me.

Unless you are new here, you know the burdens of my heart. Those deep places of pain that He leads me through. Grieving the loss of my womb has been more difficult than I knew to expect, even though we had known it was coming for quite some time. And while we're there, let me just say... I KNOW how richly I have been blessed to conceive and birth my two beautiful children. I KNOW what an immeasureable gift that is that many do not receive. That being said, we were not ready to close that door. And of course, the journey we have been marching, trudging, crawling, skipping and leaping through with our sweet sweet. How's that for an up and down?!

Before I tell you what He POURED out over me that Saturday, I have to give you a smidge of background. I'm about 99% sure I've never mentioned on here before that Rob and I have been leading a college community group through our church for the past two years. When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Ansley, we were really trying to find a place where we could serve together, as a married couple. We had no clue what to expect walking into it, but it has been the most incredible blessing. We absolutely LOVE it!! So anyway, two weeks before the conference, we were talking with our group about generational sin and the earthly inheritance we receive within our own families. What scripture says about it, how has it played a role in your life... etc. The week before the conference, we talked about our spiritual inheritance. What scripture says about the life we receive in Christ and etc. We got into small groups and posed the question, "What part of your life do you think inhibits you from full acceptance of your inheritance through Christ?" (I can't remember the exact question, but it was something along those lines.) I ended up with two guys, Jack and Danny, and when it was my turn to share, I said I thought that sometimes I really do not accept or realize the fullness and the depth of God's love for me. I tried to explain it terms of parenthood. I gave the example of pulling Zachary in and saying, "Hey, buddy I love you. Do you know how much Mommy loves you?" And him quickly responding, "Oh yea, I do. Can we build a tower?" It sinks into his heart, just as God's love does for me, but how quick am I to say, "Oh, Lord of course I know how much you love me. But seriously, do you see how hard "this or that" is?" How I so often want to figure things out when the moments of pain creep in, rather just resting and soaking in the light of His banner of love over me.

So, back to Saturday. We were nearing the final session of the conference. As I sat flipping through my notes, I had that flitter of a thought that while so much had been affirmed and lifted in my heart through the worship and speaking, I still had not heard that still, small voice. As the speaker began talking, she explained that the worship team was going to play, and that one at a time, we were all going to walk forward and have our feet washed by the volunteer team. I have done this before back in college at the ministry I was involved with, so I was actually pretty excited about it. She was talking about how much the Lord delights in speaking to his children and to ask and prepare for the Lord to speak into our hearts. Tears immediately started streaming down my face, because I knew this was the moment I had been waiting all day for. They told us that after the feet washing another woman from the volunteer team was going to pray over us with no information other than our name.

As I sat waiting for my turn, I feverishly wrote a prayer in my journal. I was so eager with anticipation because I knew the spirit of the Lord would move in those women to speak to me. I KNEW and I could not wait to hear from Him! When I began inching closer in line, I watched the sweet women as they poured water over the feet of their sisters and held their feet as they prayed over them. They looked up and often wiped tears of love off their faces. When it was finally my turn, I sat down, tissues ready. Seriously, as excited as I was, I couldn't have prepared for the moment if I had known what was coming.

By this point in the day, I'm pretty sure I had cried any trace left of mascara off my eyes because my emotions had been so strong all day as I let the Lord wash healing over my heavy heart. I was trembling because I could just feel the Holy Spirit and I knew it was going to be beautiful. I watched as she squeezed the white washcloth over my feet and waited. She smiled up at me and when the skin of her hands touched the skin of my feet, it wasn't three seconds before she began shaking and trembling. In a mere moment, she was full on sobbing. I'm talking shoulders shaking, "ugly cry" sobbing. Though no words were spoken, I'm pretty sure I have never heard from the Lord in such a passionate way. Scripture says that we are the hands and feet of Jesus to other. In that moment, when the spirit in her touched me, she knew my burdens. I watched as she she went from gently touching to my feet, to gripping my ankles until she had her face on my feet desperately grabbing onto me. I was so overwhelmed I truly could hardly catch my breath. She was in the exact position that I get into in my living room floor when it is all too much. I just fall, face down and desperately try to grip onto Jesus to carry me. In that moment of His love being poured out in such beautiful display, he said to me:

"This is where I have been all along. Those moments when you can't breathe and the darkness feels suffocating and you lay there desperately trying to cling to my feet, I am right there at yours DOING THE EXACT SAME THING TO YOU."

Clinging, fighting, weeping with you, sharing in your sorrows and desperate to cling to you so that you know the presence of My Love. The presence of His Love over me in that moment was more intense that I have ever known and it was the deepest and most beautiful display of His love I have ever experienced. I smiled and wept as I was prayed over and heard her pray for healing and that the Lord would reveal how GOOD His plans are for me. Breathtaking Love.

Song of Solomon 2:4
"He has taken me to the banquet hall,
and his banner over me is love."
As far as Little Miss news goes...Ansley's neurology appointment that had gotten cancelled for snow is coming up on Tuesday. Beyond excited! I know the Lord will reveal the depths of His power and mercy over her once more. By the by... yesterday during therapy (SO thankful I had a witness to this), she said (as clear as day), "Go, Dog, Go!!" I cried. Shocker. I was overwhelmed and shared with her therapist the scripture in Jeremiah that we have prayed and claimed for her. She just smiled as I shared that Lord has absolutely reached out to touch her lips and put words in them in spite of what her brain is able to do. All glory to our Mighty Lord!!!! Our God is a God who SAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jeremiah 1:6-9
"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afradi of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched (Ansley's) mouth and said to (her), "Now I have put words in your mouth."

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